It had been two months since my last visit to the mountains and something was kicking inside. A three days long weekend was approaching, and one of the friends in the group suggested idea to trek to hampta pass.
This Photo Journey is shared by Nishant Modgil and it's his first blog-post on Travellingcamera.com...
A few details about the trek: Hampta pass is a special pass that takes you from lush green mountains of Kullu valley to barrens of Lahaul valley on other side. It lies at an altitude of 14000 ft. (approx). Local shepherds use this high altitude pass to take their herds for grazing in Lahaul Spiti where special grass known as “Neeru” grows considered a very good source of nutrients for sheep and goats.
So, three of us were coming from Noida, and plan was to meet at manali. Starting our journey at evening of 9th September, we reached manali in the morning. As I was coming from Hamirpur, approx. 200 kms from Manali, I had reached earlier. We all met each other and exchanged pleasantries and soon we were ready for all the thrill and adventure that was waiting for us in the mountains.
We asked around and collected some information about the trek, things we need, food etc. and then hired a taxi from manali to jobra. It took around one and half hour to reach Jobra. The road is in bad condition with countless hairpin bends. In Jobra, there is only one small shop around for snacks etc. We had tea and lunch in Jobra.
Then we met a group of people who were also going for trek. However, they had tents, food and other things with them. They told us that there are no tents available in the journey and we shall aim to reach “Balu ka Dera”, where we can find accommodation. So, we started trekking around 03:00 PM from Jobra with a small trail through pine forests and leading to lush green meadows with small rocks. Rani river/nala flows in between or either sides of the meadows.
We reached Chilka, which is roughly 4 kms from Jobra and saw a campsite there. It was YHAI campsite and there were around 25 to 30 people there. They were quite surprised to see us as we had no tents or food with us. They suggested us same as earlier to reach Balu ka Gera for night stay. We reached Jwara around 5 PM and saw a couple of tents there. It also had started getting cold and dark. It was a small tea shop and there were two local men there. We had tea there and asked if they could allow us to spend the night. Initially, they told us to move forward, but as it started raining, they allowed us to spend the night. We took rest for a while and then were called for dinner. They had made khichdi which was delicious. They also offered us mutton, but we politely declined.
In the morning after having breakfast, we paid the shopkeeper and thanked him for letting us stay. We started our journey towards hampta pass around 09:00 am and had planned to reach Chatru by evening. Weather all this time was lovely with no signs of clouds and sun shining. It took us around one hour to reach Balu ka Gera. We had tea and some snacks, took rest for few minutes and headed towards high mountains.
Climb get steeper as we move. Unfortunately, we lost way somewhere but we kept moving. We rached a pleateau from where to our right was Deo-Tibba peak. After climbing for around two hours more, we were atop Hampta pass at 14000 ft. We took this moment to catch our breath and get some rest. It was around 03:00 PM and suddenly strong wind started blowing, clouds started forming around us and visibility got reduced to few meters.
It was a scary moment as we could not see the way forward. After sometime as visibility got back normal, we saw the path and were relieved. We needed to cross two small mountains to reach the path. In meantime, we also saw two foreigner backpackers coming from other side. Once you reach Hampta pass, next destination is Shea Goru. It is a steep descent and one needs to be careful while descending. Shea Goru is visible from the top and there is no clear path to climb down. Shea Goru is at 12900 ft. with picturesque valley filled with grass and river flowing on other side.
There was a YHAI campsite, and we met a YHAI volunteer there. It was a large campsite with capacity to accommodate around 60 people. Along with him, there were two other people there who were cook. He told us that we were lucky as no group was coming that day and tents were empty. We decided to stay at Shea Goru and leave early next day for Chatru. We put our stuff in a tent and got inside sleeping bags. We woke up around 08:00 PM for dinner and had a delicious meal with chapatis and mix veg.
As we were descending down, we saw bus enrotue to Chandertal. Reaching Chatru, we came to know that there are no taxis available from there either to Chandertaal or to Manali. Chatru is a small village with total population of 120 with only two or three shops. There is a fixed line phone available for calling as cell network is nonexistent. We had lunch in Chatru, and with no hope of visiting Chandertal, started trying to get transportation for Manali. After waiting and asking people for lift, finally after around two hours, a couple who was going to Manali in a taxi agreed to give us lift. It was really brave of them to give lift to four unknown strangers.
On our way, we stoped at Rohtang pass for few minutes. We reached Manali bus stand around 07:00 PM; thanked them and bid goodbye. We had our dinner at mall road, manali and then took bus back to home.
If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -
- Manage your waste well and don’t litter
- Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
- Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
- Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.- Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite